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Andrew Vaillencourt

  • 7
  • reviews
  • 14
  • helpful votes
  • 21
  • ratings
  • Ex-Heroes

  • By: Peter Clines
  • Narrated by: Jay Snyder, Khristine Hvam
  • Length: 8 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8,529
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,893
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,915

Stealth. Gorgon. Regenerator. Cerberus. Zzzap. The Mighty Dragon. They were heroes. Vigilantes. Crusaders for justice, using their superhuman abilites to make Los Angeles a better place. Then the plague of living death spread around the globe. Despite the best efforts of the superheroes, the police, and the military, the hungry corpses rose up and overwhelmed the country. The population was decimated, heroes fell, and the city of angels was left a desolate zombie wasteland like so many others.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Superheros, Villians & Zombies... mmm heaven

  • By The Zombie Specialist on 08-16-13

Simply brilliant genre-mash.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-03-16

The premise is ridiculous. It shouldn't work.

But it does. I don't get it, either. But I'm a fan!

  • The Automatic Detective

  • By: A. Lee Martinez
  • Narrated by: Marc Vietor
  • Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,264
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,102
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,109

Even in Empire City, a town where weird science is the hope for tomorrow, it's hard for a robot to make his way. It's even harder for a robot named Mack Megaton, a hulking machine designed to bring mankind to its knees. But Mack's not interested in world domination. He's just a bot trying to get by, trying to demonstrate that he isn't just an automated smashing machine, and to earn his citizenship in the process. It should be as easy as crushing a tank for Mack, but some bots just cant catch a break.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful Narration performance

  • By Windy on 04-19-11

Giant robot detective? I'm in.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-21-16

What did you love best about The Automatic Detective?

This is a great, fun, twist on several genres.

What other book might you compare The Automatic Detective to and why?

Reminds me of the "Hard Luck Hank" series.

Any additional comments?

This book manages warmth, humor, and action very well. Martinez has made a career out of twisting sci-fi tropes into new kinds of characters, and this one is no different. The world-destroying super-robot is now a taxi driver forced into solving a mystery; and the evil crime syndicate is just [SPOILER].

If not for the mutant gorilla sidekick, it would make no sense. This is old-school sci-fi with old-school crime noir, with new-school sensibilities. It's a treat.

  • Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge

  • By: John Ringo, Larry Correia
  • Narrated by: Oliver Wyman
  • Length: 12 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,439
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,086
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,066

When marine private Oliver Chadwick Gardenier is killed in the marine barrack bombing in Beirut, somebody who might be Saint Peter gives him a choice: Go to heaven, which, while nice, might be a little boring, or return to earth. The Boss has a mission for him, and he's to look for a sign. He's a marine: He'll choose the mission. Unfortunately, the sign he's to look for is "57". Which, given the food services contract in Bethesda Hospital, creates some difficulty. Eventually it appears that God's will is for Chad to join a group called Monster Hunters International.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • My first in the monster hunter series

  • By Randall on 06-20-18

Quintessential Ringo. Macho Hero Kills Everything.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-21-16

Any additional comments?

This is Ringo doing Ringo. The protagonist is a hyper-masculine super-badass auto-didact who is good at everything. Being awesome at everything saves on exposition so he can get right down to the monster-killing.

Ringo writes action better than anyone else, and when he focuses on that, his books are tons of fun. This book is pure fun. The character is farcical, his situations are right-wing fantasies, and there is never any doubt as to how it's gonna go. But it all works within the context it is presented, and gives Ringo plenty of time to get into the action, where he truly shines.

3 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Starship Grifters

  • Rex Nihilo, Book 1
  • By: Robert Kroese
  • Narrated by: Kate Rudd
  • Length: 7 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,080
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,948
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,939

A space-faring ne'er-do-well with more bravado than brains, Rex Nihilo plies the known universe in a tireless quest for his own personal gain. But when he fleeces a wealthy weapons dealer in a high-stakes poker game, he ends up winning a worthless planet - and owing an outstanding debt more vast than space itself! The only way for Rex to escape a lifetime of torture on the prison world Gulagatraz is to score a big payday by pulling off his biggest scam.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sometimes you just gotta give a book a chance!

  • By Sad Carlos on 07-08-14

This is funny, but that's all...

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-21-16

What would have made Starship Grifters better?

The characters are entirely flat and serve no other purpose than to either deliver set-ups or punchlines. It's a 'Saturday Night Live' sketch, not a story.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The entire book is very funny. The laughs are definitely in there.

Any additional comments?

This is a funny book. But story, pacing, characterization, and structure are all sacrificed at the altar of humor. It's just an endless series of slapstick Benny Hill action sequences with Abbott and Costello repartee.

It wants to be a Douglas Adams book very badly, but just doesn't deliver.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Gil's All Fright Diner

  • By: A. Lee Martinez
  • Narrated by: Fred Berman
  • Length: 6 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 932
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 822
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 826

Duke and Earl are just passing through Rockwood county in their pick-up truck when they stop at the Diner for a quick bite to eat. They aren't planning to stick around-until Loretta, the eatery's owner, offers them $100 to take care of her zombie problem. Given that Duke is a werewolf and Earl's a vampire, this looks right up their alley.But the shambling dead are just the tip of a particularly spiky iceberg.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I loved it!

  • By colleen on 05-27-12

Martinez has too much fun, sometimes.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-21-16

What made the experience of listening to Gil's All Fright Diner the most enjoyable?

Narration was great. Characters were all distinct and believable when heard through the narrator's voice.

What did you like best about this story?

It was humorous without being heartless. It managed to hit all the right chords when it came to characters, places, and action. This is a story that is just plain fun, with just enough pathos to remind you that life isn't all jokes and tropes.

Any additional comments?

What a a fun book. Martinez loves to make quirky, flawed characters that all seem to feel like they are the protagonist. The two heroes of this story are just plain ridiculous, and it works.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Cthulhu Armageddon

  • By: C. T. Phipps
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 8 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 353
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 333
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 334

Cthulhu Armageddon is the story of a world 100 years past the rise of the Old Ones which has been reduced to a giant monster-filled desert and pockets of human survivors (along with Deep Ones, ghouls, and other "talking" monsters).

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Awesome.

  • By Natalie @ ABookLoversLife on 11-07-16

A love letter to post-apocalyptic tropes.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-21-16

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Time spent reading is always well-spent. This was a decent read, and did a nice job of giving all the good parts of the genre plenty of time to play.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Integrating Lovecraftian elements into a fairly-rote post-apocalyptic fantasy was a nice touch.

Any additional comments?

This was obviously a labor of love for a dedicated fan of video games and classic sci-fi. It is well-enough written, with echoes of Gaiman and King. It just never really achieves the level of technical literary proficiency that Neil and Stephen manage to hit.

I enjoyed the brutally quick pacing, the fantastic creatures, starkly bleak characters, and creative blending of genres. This was a fun romp, if not an instant classic. I will watch the author, though, because there are moments of real brilliance in this book. Just needs some prosaic polish.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Laws of Thermodynamics

  • A Very Short Introduction
  • By: Peter Atkins
  • Narrated by: Nick Sullivan
  • Length: 3 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 203
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 174
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 174

The laws of thermodynamics drive everything that happens in the universe. From the sudden expansion of a cloud of gas to the cooling of hot metal - everything is moved or restrained by four simple laws. Written by Peter Atkins, one of the world's leading authorities on thermodynamics, this powerful and compact introduction explains what these four laws are and how they work, using accessible language and virtually no mathematics.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Accessible, but needs the figures

  • By Diane Walter on 08-09-11

Very Informative

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-04-16

Keeping formulae straight with only verbal medium was never going to be easy.

Otherwise, presentation was excellent.